Brazil-based poultry giant BRF is putting forward Luiz Fernando Furlan as its candidate for company chairman to replace Abilio Diniz amid pressure from major shareholders for an overhaul of directors.

The BRF board has agreed to submit a list of its nominees to an ordinary and extraordinary shareholders meeting scheduled for 26 April in what it says in a statement is an ”alternative” proposal to the one presented in February by its major investors – the Pension Fund of the Bank of Brazil (Previ) and Petrobas Social Security (Petros) – which reportedly own a combined 20% of BRF.

Walter Malieni Jr. is the nominee for the vice chairman role. The rest of BRF’s candidates for positions on the board are: Augusto Marques da Cruz Filho; Flavia Buarque de Almeida; Roberto Rodrigues; José Aurélio Drummond Jr., who is currently CEO; José Luiz Osório; Roberto Antônio Mendes; Dan Ioschpe; and Vasco Augusto Pinto da Fonseca Dias Júnior. 

Back in March, BRF had said it would discuss a request for a change in directors made by Previ and Petros and has now concluded its finalised list following a meeting on 5 April.

It has been a turbulent era for loss-making BRF, as the company struggles to turn around its financial results and restore investor confidence following allegations of corruption lodged against company officials who were said to have paid bribes to government inspectors to overlook unsanitary conditions – what became known as the Carne Fraca, or ”Weak Flesh” probe.

BRF has also been forced to put some workers on temporary leave across a number of plants after the government suspended poultry exports to the European Union as a precautionary measure as the EU reviews the allegations into the Carne Fraca investigation and considers a ban on meat imports.

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There have also been changes in top management. In November, Drummond Jr. was appointed as chief executive to replace Pedro de Andrade Faria. Lorival Nogueira Luz Jr was brought in as CFO in August last year to replace Jose Alexandre Carneiro Borges, who resigned in March last year.